Last week was the first week of the Animation MOOC that I am taking from Adobe. It was introduction week, with an orientation to the course structure and format, and a few readings and viewings to get us thinking about animation.
A little too judgemental?
This week has made me realize is that I am much harder on myself and on the course during xMOOCs. Design flaws that I would ignore in other contexts, attract my attention and frustration. I was so distracted by the fact that the time of the first synchronous session was formatted exactly like the rest of the hyperlinks on the page, but wasn’t a hyperlink, I had trouble understanding when the session was scheduled.
I was so caught up in the linear “complete A before you complete B” structure of the course that I was drawn up short when I was unable to submit my assignment. Since I had completed all of the work that was presented before the assignment except the “optional office hours” synchronous session which isn’t until tonight, it seemed to me like I needed to attend the optional session in order to get a submit button appear on my assignment page. I checked with a classmate, it turns out that we need to complete 3 peer evaluations before we are able to submit our own assignment. Since they were listed after the assignment in the outline, it never occurred to me that I needed to complete them before I was able to hand in my assignment.
Every other online course I have ever participated in as a student or teacher, you have had to submit your assignments before you are allowed to do any peer editing. What a totally different model. I wonder if I am going to be able to get over my resistance to this different format in order to evaluate the effect that it has on the course and on me as a participant?
If the course had been structured in any other way, I would probably have poked around until I figured out what I needed to do in order to hand in my assignment. Because it is an xMOOC I assume I am not going to understand or it is going to be hard to figure out if I have difficulty.
Hmm. My expectations are getting in the way of my experiencing the course. I hope I am able to let that go so it doesn’t get in the way of my learning.
I really enjoyed two of the readings/viewings this week. I loved the film Animando by Marcos Magalhães. Watching it was a blast from the past; it’s one of the National Film Board shorts that I remember watching when I was young. It would be a great way to introduce different types of animation to students. I also really enjoyed Brain Pickings Post about 5 Early Animators. I love early animation, and I loved watching the film by Georges Méliès after reading about it in Brian Selzniak’s wonderful novel Hugo.
I also remembered a recent tweet with a simple way to set up a green screen iPad studio.
I am looking forward to week 2. I’ll try not to be so hard on the course structure.